- Encourage circulation — Wiggle or massage your fingers and toes. Move your arms in a windmill circle or shake your arms and legs.
- Choose mittens — Mittens offer more warmth than do gloves. Look for a pair that’s insulated with wool or fleece.
- Double up — Wear two pairs of socks. For the layer closest to your skin, look for a moisture wicking fabric. On top, choose a wool or wool-blend sock.
- Carry hand and foot warmers — Small charcoal or chemical packs that generate a low level of heat can be placed in your mittens, socks or boots. Battery-powered options also are available. You can find warmers of all types in many sporting goods stores.
- Warm with water — Soak your hands or feet in warm — not hot — water or place cold hands under running warm water.
- Try specialty gloves — Therapeutic gloves designed for people with Raynaud’s disease may help.
- Exercise regularly — Regular physical activity helps increase blood flow to the body’s tissues.
- Don’t smoke — Smoking narrows the blood vessels, which can restrict circulation.
Category Archives: osteoarthritis pain
I suffer from severe arthritis at the base of my thumbs. This means that virtually anything I do with my hands – hurts. Buttoning, unbuttoning, turning a key, working a zipper, you name it – pain. In the past 10 years I have written about a number of topical treatments for arthritis pain. Frankly, they are too numerous to mention, but if you are curious, type arthritis into the SEARCH BOX at the right and you can find all of them. For the record, I started suffering from arthritis pain in my hands in my 50’s. That was more than 25 years ago, so I have lived with the pain for a considerable time.
What is the good news? One of my neighbors who I often encounter when we walk our dogs, told me about Calendula Officinalis tablets. maybe you have heard of them under their more common name – pot marigold. I had not previously heard of either. Continue reading
I have been writing this blog for more than nine years. In that time I have discussed arthritis pain numerous times. I suffer from arthritis in my hands. Mine resides in the base of my thumb which means that virtually everything I do with my hands causes pain, particularly turning a key, buttoning a shirt.
Remedies I have tried include topical, CBD Oil, Mustard Seed Oil, Australian Dream Cream. All of them have given me some temporary relief. For some years I wore an acrylic cast which partially immobilized my right hand, but also gave it welcome support for many tasks.
As a long time sufferer of osteoarthritis in my hands, I try to get as much exercise with them as possible. Nice to learn that Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter agrees.
Wear-and-tear arthritis (osteoarthritis) breaks down the cushion of cartilage that allows joints to flex without grinding bone-on-bone. As the cartilage breaks down, it brings pain, stiffness and swelling. People with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee may experience pain when walking, but actually walking and other forms of low-impact exercise can help to reduce osteoarthritis symptoms.
“Non-impact loading exercises like walking are generally very good for arthritis,” says Jeffrey S. Zarin, MD, chief of the division of arthroplasty at Tufts Medical Center. “It keeps the joints moving, it keeps the joints strong and, generally speaking, it helps your ability to keep functioning. It also helps diminish inflammation.” Continue reading
First of all, please read and digest the facts contained in the photo below. I very much believe what it says and live my life accordingly. I think it paints a clear picture about the wonderful organic machines that are our bodies. As such, for the most part, I enjoy robust good health riding my bike nearly every day year ’round here in Chicago.
Nonetheless, at 79 years old I am not a kid any more. This week I will be going to a physical therapist where I am getting treatments for lower back pains. In between visits to her, every day I do between 20 minutes and a half hour of physical therapy exercises which she has proscribed. I presently am working through some serious lower back pains.
On Friday I meet with a dental specialist who will be consulting on a problem I have under some bridgework on the upper right side of my mouth. That dental structure was put in over 20 years ago and has recently shown signs of age.
While I am not seeing a medical practitioner for the arthritis that afflicts my hands, I rub CBD oil on them regularly and roll Chinese exercise balls around in them to relieve the pain and increase my dexterity. You can read about my experience with CBD oil.
Other than that, President Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?
I did not intend this post to be as much of a downer as I fear it may be, but I wanted to put out some of the facts of my life that are indicative of a guy who just turned 79 years old. The good news is that I am retired and need to answer to no one for my time.
I am very happy with my life and once this Midwest weather straightens itself out I look forward to being back riding my bike daily.
But, I also wanted to paint a fair picture of things on this side of the temporal spectrum.
Last month I wrote a post on CBD Oil as a possible pain reliever for the arthritis I suffer from in my hands. Before you read the current post, I wish you would go back and check out the original from January 18. It is from Medical News Today and has lots of good information in it. This is a quote from that post “CBD is a type of cannabinoid, which is a chemical found in cannabis plants. Unlike delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another chemical found in cannabis, CBD is not psychoactive. This means it does not change a person’s mental state or produce a “high” as THC can.”
So, now you know what it is, and isn’t. You can’t get high using this stuff.
On to my
experiment experience with it. Of course I went to Amazon because that is where you buy anything. And, of course, they had lots of it. Keep in mind that one can use this oil topically, rubbing it on the skin, or internally, drinking it. Being the human guinea pig, I felt safer with the topical use.
Regular readers may remember that I suffer from a severe case of osteoarthritis in my hands. Mine is situated at the base of my thumbs, so it usually hurts me to use my hands. I wrote about this on another venue and someone suggested CBD oil for pain relief. Being completely ignorant of it, I checked it out on the web and have ordered some from Amazon. I will let you know in a subsequent post how/if it worked. Meanwhile, here is what Medical News Today had to say about CBD oil.
Recent studies suggest that cannabidiol oil (CBD oil) could play a role in the treatment of arthritis. What are the benefits of CBD oil and are there any side effects people considering using it should be aware of?
CBD oil, also called hemp oil, is an oil made from an extract from cannabis plants. Some people use CBD oil to relieve pain associated with chronic conditions, such as arthritis.
What is CBD oil?
CBD is a type of cannabinoid, which is a chemical found in cannabis plants. Unlike delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another chemical found in cannabis, CBD is not psychoactive. This means it does not change a person’s mental state or produce a “high” as THC can.
I have written numerous times about the arthritis problems in my thumbs. I suffer from osteoarthritis.This is the most common for of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis, however, is also a painful, if less common, affliction. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is recognized as the most crippling or disabling type of arthritis.
After studying immune cells taken from the joints of people with rheumatoid arthritis, scientists have found that once the disease sets in, some types of cell lose their sensitivity to vitamin D, according to Medical News Today.
The team — which comprised researchers from University College London and the University of Birmingham, both in the United Kingdom — reports the new findings in the Journal of Autoimmunity.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that arises because the immune system attacks healthy tissue — usually the joints — by mistake, leading to painful inflammation and swelling.
The disease often affects several joints at the same time, such as the knees, hands, and wrists. It inflames the lining of the joint and eventually damages the joint itself. This can lead to long-lasting pain, problems with balance, and deformity.
Estimates suggest that approximately 1 percent of the world’s population has rheumatoid arthritis, including around 1.3 million adults in the United States. It affects women more often than men, raising the question of whether hormonal factors may be involved.
I have mentioned ‘personal posts’ previously. Well, arthritis pains in the hands are something I live with daily. It doesn’t get more personal than this. For the past 15 years. I have had trouble buttoning shirts, jackets, etc. I drop keys and other small objects regularly. Any activity that involves manipulating fingers and thumbs causes pain to me in a greater of lesser degree. I thought this rundown on managing arthritis in the hands by Medical News Today was very thorough. I hope this subject is never more than academic for you.
Many bones in the body, including those of the wrists and hands, are protected by cartilage. Cartilage can wear down over time. As a result, a person can experience a condition known as osteoarthritis.
Another name for this type of arthritis is “wear and tear” arthritis. The most common causes of osteoarthritis include age, repetitive joint movement, trauma, and sex. Genetics can also play a factor in the development of osteoarthritis.
Arthritis in the hands may also be caused by rheumatoid arthritis or post-traumatic arthritis.
Fast facts on arthritis in hands:
Women are more likely than men to experience osteoarthritis.
There is no cure for any type of arthritis in hands.
Treatment focuses on relieving the pain and managing the underlying condition.
In rare instances, a doctor may recommend surgery to repair a severely damaged finger joint.
What types of arthritis affect the hands?
Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can affect the hands.
While osteoarthritis is due to degenerative changes in cartilage, RA is the result of an autoimmune condition.
RA occurs when the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue that protects the joints. The resulting symptoms can be similar to those of osteoarthritis, including pain, inflammation, and redness.
RA can occur with no risk factors. However, women are more likely to experience the condition than men. Those with a family history of RA, who are obese, or who smoke are also at a greater risk of developing it.
While a person can experience RA at any age, the most common age of onset is between 40 and 60.
A person can also experience post-traumatic arthritis in the hands. This occurs after a person has damaged their hands, such as in a sport-related injury or accident.
Broken or sprained fingers or wrists can also cause post-traumatic arthritis. Injuries can accelerate the breakdown of protective cartilage as well as cause inflammation. Continue reading
I will be turning 78 in January and, thankfully, have yet to experience the kind of knee pain that many of my fellow seniors suffer. My brother, three years younger, got a titanium knee more than 10 years ago. My arthritis pain lives in the base of my thumbs, so I have trouble using my hands. Also, there is no surgery for hand arthritis. Harvard Health Letter has some positive words for those of you who have problem knees.
Knee pain is common in older age, often caused by osteoarthritis (the wearing away of knee cartilage). Fortunately, there are ways to fool Father Time and postpone knee problems or even prevent them entirely. “In many cases, you can delay or avoid the need for surgical intervention, such as a knee replacement,” says Dr. Lars Richardson, an orthopedic surgeon with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
The aging knee
Your knees absorb a huge amount of pressure with every step — typically one-and-a-half times your body weight. That pressure, plus regular wear and tear, takes a toll over time. Muscles and ligaments get weaker. The knee’s two shock absorbers — pads of cartilage called menisci — start to deteriorate. So does the articular cartilage protecting the ends of the leg bones where they meet at the knee. If you have a family history of osteoarthritis, if you’re overweight, or if you’ve had some knee injuries, you may be more prone to this deterioration. Continue reading
Since I suffer from arthritis in my hands daily, I hope I can be forgiven for being the slightest bit preoccupied with it. I was first diagnosed with it, about 15 years ago. At that time I was given an acrylic splint that I wore on my right hand. It partially immobilized the hand, but gave me a lot of functionality as my hand was stronger as a result. Living with pain is an ongoing and developing experience. I am not sure what will be next.
The Mayo Clinic offered the following in the Special Report of its Health Letter:
“Sometimes, more conservative treatments such as medications and physical therapy aren’t enough to relieve your arthritis signs and symptoms. In these cases, a number of surgical procedures may be considered to relieve pain, slow or prevent cartilage damage or restore mobility and stability. Common surgical procedures include:
“* Arthroscopic debridement – A thin tube (arthroscope) is inserted into the joint area through a small incision to suction away loose fragments of bone, cartilage or synovial tissue that may be causing pain. This is particularly helpful in treating ‘mechanical’ symptoms of arthritis, such as catching or locking.
“* Synovectomy – Often done in rheumatoid arthritis, this involves surgically removing inflamed synovial tissue to reduce pain and swelling, and possibly delaying or preventing- joint destruction.
“* Joint fusion – Often done when joint replacement isn’t an option, permanently fusing a joint in the spine, wrist or ankle or foot can reduce pain and improve stability, although flexibility of that joint is lost.
“* Joint replacement – Hip, knee, elbow and shoulder joints – and less commonly some of the joints of the hands – can all be replaced by artificial joints made of various materials. Advances continue to be made in artificial joint durability and the overall success of these procedures. In some cases, less invasive procedures such as partial knee replacement or hip replacements using smaller incisions are helping reduce recovery time. Modified anesthesia techniques, aggressive post-operative rehabilitation and better postoperative pain management are also contributing to quicker recovery times.”
Anecdotally, my brother had a titanium knee put in several years ago and he was discharged from the hospital the same day. That blew my mind at the time and still does.
The report concludes, “You may not be able to make arthritis pain totally go away or do everything that you once could. But you can make the most of what you can do, which includes fully utilizing the medical therapies available to you, leading a joint-healthy lifestyle and maintaining a positive attitude.”
I exercise regularly and I also suffer from severe arthritis of the hands, so the subjects of exercise and painkillers touch me where I live. Following is a very informative write up of painkillers in general and NSAIDs in particular by Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications
“Not long ago, I took ibuprofen after a dental procedure and was amazed at how well it worked. Millions of people have had similar experiences with ibuprofen and related medications (called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs) when used for a number of conditions, including arthritis, back pain, and headache. That’s why NSAIDs are among the most commonly prescribed drugs worldwide.”
Coincidentally, I stumbled across NSAIDs by accident. You can read about it in my post – What about a bubble on my elbow?
“More than a dozen different NSAIDs are available, including naproxen (as in Naprosyn or Aleve), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Voltaren) and indomethacin (Indocin). Aspirin is also an NSAID, though it is usually taken in small doses for its blood thinning effects (to prevent heart attack or stroke) rather than for pain.
NSAIDs are fairly safe, but not risk free
“The safety profile of NSAIDs is generally quite good, especially when taken in small doses for short periods of time. That’s why several of them, including ibuprofen and naproxen, are available in low doses over the counter in this country and elsewhere. Continue reading
As a long time arthritis sufferer, I have it in both hands, I am acutely aware of arthritis pain while trying to grip. I also know that arthritis can strike other joints with equal severity. Knowing the early signs may be helpful in clearing up bad health habits.
While snap, crackle and pop might be good sounds for your cereal, they may not be good noises in your knees. A new study by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine published today in Arthritis Care & Research says these might be early predictors of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.
“Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that affects the knee joint,” said Dr. Grace Lo, assistant professor of medicine in the section of immunology, allergy and rheumatology at Baylor. “We wanted to see if complaints about popping or snapping in the knee joint, also known as crepitus, were predictive of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis, which is a combination of a frequent history of pain as well as radiographic evidence of knee osteoarthritis.” Continue reading
Because arthritis sufferers experience pain when they move, many conclude that not moving is healthier because it doesn’t hurt. Unfortunately, that is one instance where listening to your body is not the best course of action. I hope the following information will alter that conclusion.
First, some startling statistics on arthritis from Ashley Boynes.
Some 50 million Americans have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. That’s 22 per cent of the population, more than 1-in-5 adults!
Arthritis costs the US economy $128 BILLION per year.
Sad statistic – 31 per cent of US 18-64 year olds with arthritis either can’t work, or report work limitations.
Arthritis is the number one MOST COMMON disability.
Some 32 percent of veterans surveyed in 36 States had been diagnosed with arthritis, compared with 22 percent of non-veterans, representing a 50 per cent increased risk for arthritis for veterans.
More than 1,000,000 joints will be replaced this year alone.
To answer the question about suitability of exercising with arthritis, I recently attended a Northwestern Memorial Hospital Healthy Transitions presentation on Arthritis and Exercise.
Do you remember the old ads for Chiffon Margarine a while back that showed Mother Nature trying some and thinking it was real butter. When told it wasn’t she uttered the famous line, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.” You can see it on You Tube below
Turns out it’s not nice to blame Mother Nature either.
New research from The George Institute for Global Health has revealed the weather plays no part in the symptoms associated with either back pain or osteoarthritis.
It’s long been thought episodes of both back pain and arthritis can be triggered by changes in the weather, including temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind direction and precipitation.
Professor Chris Maher, of The George Institute for Global Health, said: “The belief that pain and inclement weather are linked dates back to Roman times. But our research suggests this belief may be based on the fact that people recall events that confirm their preexisting views.
“Human beings are very susceptible so it’s easy to see why we might only take note of pain on the days when it’s cold and rainy outside, but discount the days when they have symptoms but the weather is mild and sunny.” Continue reading
Running may also slow the process that leads to osteoarthritis
As regular readers know, I ride my bike nearly daily, here in Chicago. A hundred years ago, it seems, I ran daily. I stopped running because I enjoy bike riding more.
We all know that running causes a bit of inflammation and soreness, and that’s just the price you pay for cardiovascular health. You know; no pain, no gain.
Well, maybe not. New research from BYU exercise science professors finds that pro-inflammatory molecules actually go down in the knee joint after running.
In other words, it appears running can reduce joint inflammation.“It flies in the face of intuition,” said study coauthor Matt Seeley, associate professor of exercise science at BYU. “This idea that long-distance running is bad for your knees might be a myth.” Continue reading